Researchers were hoping that the T-cell therapy could indeed prove to be a potential treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. But latest findings report that it has the opposite effect than expected.
Researchers with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that some "protective" T-cells can kill neurons.
The finding is significant because a specific type of T-cell therapy is being touted in the medical community as a potential treatment for MS and other autoimmune conditions.
"Using T-cells has been seen as a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases," said Dr. Fabrizio Giuliani from the Division of Neurology.
"But these cells that are supposed to be regulatory, when activated, they can kill. In our hands, at least, they were able to kill neurons. So this is very important. In MS literature, they were starting to talk about using the infusion of these cells as treatment. This area needs to be studied more before these cells are used as a therapy for MS patients," added Giuliani.
"We were using some of the cells that we have described here as a control in our project. And then the T-cells did something interesting, something we weren't expecting. In fact, we were expecting the exact opposite response with these cells, said Giuliani.
"We were looking at how a specific type of T-cell could prevent neuronal death and then we found out they were doing the killing...These are the best findings - when you are expecting something different and then you observe an amazing phenomenon," added Giuliani.
The study has been published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.